- Officials on Thursday announced that the Biden Administration plans to invest more than $3.2 billion in developing antiviral medicines to treat COVID-19 and other viruses with pandemic potential, reported CNBC.
- The new program, dubbed Antiviral Program for Pandemics – is a "whole-of-government effort" that will speed up clinical trials of promising drug candidates and develop next-generation treatments for COVID-19 and other viruses that could cause future pandemics," said White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci during a news conference.
- The pills for COVID-19, which would be used to minimize symptoms after infection, are in development and could begin arriving by the end of 2021, pending the completion of trials.
- The funding will speed those clinical trials and provide additional support to private sector research, development, and manufacturing.
- Last week, officials with the Department of Health and Human Services announced a $1.2 billion deal to purchase 1.7 million doses of molnupiravir from Merck & Co Inc MRK if the drug gets an FDA approval or emergency use nod.
- In April, Pfizer Inc's PFE CEO Albert Bourla said COVID-19 antiviral drug would be available by the end of 2021.
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